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In addition to that, the budget for the special milk program would provide a continuation of the program as it is now operating in schools that do not have a food service of any kind, so that in those schools where there is no other food service, milk would continue to be offered on the same basis as it is currently. In addition, part of the funds budgeted would go
to providing free milk for needy children. Mr. ANDREWS. Well, Mr. Davis, you lost me. I did not follow you. You approved of this program which Mr. Scheuer introduced going far beyond any need whatsoever, as to whether or not the family's budget was adequate, but distributing these meals to everybody, irrespective of need. Yet you say that the administration, at the present time, is trying to redirect the milk program so it will apply not to everybody, but just to the needy.
Now, which thrust do you approve of? Mr. Scheuer has presented one and you say the administration wishes another.
Mr. Davis. Well, I believe that when the hearings are held on the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, the proposed bill, there will be, in part
that legislation, more emphasis placed on reaching the needy children with some of these programs.
Mr. ANDREWS. But you admit Mr. Scheuer's testimony has just indicated the whole thrust of this is beyond that and it has nothing to do with that.
Mr. Davis. It is my belief, at this point, that the Secretary would probably be in favor of perhaps greater emphasis in the summer program directed toward the needy children and the neighborhoods that perhaps need it the most. I would assume that in the actual operation of the proposed bill, H.R. 9339, the bulk of these programs would be operated in neighborhoods drawing children from the low-income groups. As you point out, the legislation as written does not so direct.
Mr. ANDREWS. Well, the sponsor of H.R. 9339 claims that his objective is quite different from what you are saying here. If the administration has frightened everybody around the country that they are going to cut out the lunch programs, which they have, and if their purpose is to redo the program, why put out the idea that you are going to destroy what you did, to build up something new? I don't quite understand, with all of these programs coming along at the same time you are taking away what you gave them before. I can't quite see a program which is going to redo what has been taken away.
Mr. Davis. Well, the proposed legislation, which I mentioned, would in no way destroy or curtail the present school lunch program as we know it, designed to reach all of the children. It would augment that.
Mr. ANDREWS. Why were all of these telegrams and pressures brought up?
Mr. PUCINSKI. Would you yield?
Mr. PUCINSKI. I am glad to have this explanation from you, Mr. Davis, because you put this whole program in its proper perspective, and perhaps like my colleague from Alabama, Mr. Andrews, I think there has been, unfortunately, a misunderstanding by many people of what the Department and the Bureau of the Budget and the President himself are trying to do.
As I understood your original reply to Mr. Andrews, the change that you are proposing in the milk program would appear, at least to be somewhat minor. You are going to continue providing milk in every hot lunch program that you provide. You say milk has to be a part of that diet; is that right?
Mr. Davis. That is provided under the school lunch authority, and appropriation.
Mr. PUCINSKI. You are not eliminating that?
Mr. PUCINSKI. Second, you are going to continue providing milk morning cooky break, if they have cookies, or at least during the morning milk break, for all youngsters who are needy. You are going to continue that, aren't you?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. Mr. PUCINSKI. And third, you are going to continue providing for all youngsters, whether they are needy or not
Mr. ANDREWS. Was that an affirmative answer that you just gave, when you nodded your head?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Mr. PUCINSKI. The record will show that Mr. Davis answered “Yes" to the second question.
Now, the third point is that you are going to continue, as you are now, and you have been for some time, providing milk for all youngsters, whether they are needy or otherwise, as part of the morning milk break in those schools where there is no hot lunch program in force now, but where they do have the morning milk break, is that correct?
Mr. Davis. It may be morning, and it may be at noon, and it may be afternoon. You are correct, sir.
Mr. PUCINSKI. As I see it, the only change that you are making here, if I understand this correctly, is that in that instance where there is a hot lunch program available in a school, but where they have had the additional milk break sometime during the day, what you are saying is that in that instance those youngsters who can afford it will pay for the milk?
Mr. Davis. The full price.
Mr. PUCINSKI. But the needy youngsters who can't afford it, will continue getting the additional milk supply at some point in the day, those schools where there is a hot lunch program available; is that correct?
Mr. Davis. That is correct.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Am I correct in assuming that in the light of your explanation this morning, the changes proposed are relatively minor changes, isn't that correct?
Mr. Davis. They are not relatively minor in terms of dollars of Federal expenditures, but those children who can afford to pay for the milk under the proposed budget would pay the full cost where now they are receiving a Federal subsidy of perhaps 3 cents toward it, or 4 cents toward that half pint of milk.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Now, the only thing that worries me about this change, if my colleague will yield further, is the question that now comes up: Who is going to determine in a classroom as to whether or not a youngster falls in the needy category or whether he falls in the nonneedy category, and whether he is going to get his milk for nothing or whether he is going to have to pay the full price? How is that going to be determined, Mr. Davis?
Mr. Davis. It will be determined the same way that the schools are determining that under the present programs. It will be determined by the local school authorities, and not by a national regulation. At the present time, under the national school lunch program, for example, about 10 percent of the meals are served free. The act itself requires that those children who cannot afford to pay for the lunch receive it free.
Similarly, in many schools they have been giving milk free to some children. They would continue to determine either through consultation with the school nurse, the homeroom teacher, in some instances by an application from the parents—they would make this same determination under the proposed budget in the same manner as they have been under the continuing programs.
Under the school lunch program, that has been done for 20 years.
Mr. PUCINSKI. This is one of the things that has always disturbed me about the whole program. I said in my opening remarks that I think this hot lunch program is one of the most significant programs in this country, but the thing that has always disturbed me is the sort of distinction that we draw between a poor child and a child of better means. In my investigation of the school system here in the District of Columbia, I have discovered that many youngsters who need at least one hot lunch during the day, or hot meal during the day, and who normally would not get it otherwise, and who would have that meal available, will not go to take this meal because they are stigmatized as being poor.
I am wondering about this. I can appreciate the concern of the Budget Bureau and the administration in trying to cut expenses, but I wonder if in the final analysis we are not going to carry this philosophy into the milk program,
I represent a district that has a high-income level, and there are no identifiable pockets of poverty in my district, as such. I represent one of the highest income groups in the country. Yet, I know, and my school administrators know, that in my school I have any number of youngsters who happen to be living with their grandparents because they have been orphaned by the death of their parents or youngsters who are living with the mother when the father has abandoned the family, or where the family has separated. We have many individual cases of need.
Now, these young girls or young boys are not readily identifiable in the student body. I would not want to ever see them readily identifiable because, I think, we would then break down the relationship that we now have. What I am afraid of is that we are going to tend toward an identification and with the stigmatization of the youngster who happens to be poor, unfortunately, beyond his control. This is the only danger that I see in this separation of programs.
You provide free milk for the very poor youngster and we make the youngster whose family has greater means pay for it. I think that you are going to set up a kind of a class system within the child community of this country that I am not sure is desirable. This would be my only concern about the suggestion made by the Department and it is my hope that perhaps in that light the administration may want to change its recommendation.
Would you have any comment on that, Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis. Well, as I mentioned, really we don't believe anything in the proposed budget would change what is already in operation. Perhaps there are some instances where this has made it difficult to reach the needy children. On the other hand, I would say that in the first place this National School Lunch Act itself requires that there be no discrimination or no embarrassment to the children receiving free lunches, so that the schools have used a number of ingenious ways of getting around that.
Mr. PUCINSKI. If you will permit at this point an interruption, this is the way it works in theory, but let us take a look at it in practice.
At the Shaw School they serve, let us assume, 400 lunches. Now, because the whole lunchroom program is not a very attractive program, and this, surely, is not your fault, the only youngsters who really participate in the lunchroom program for the most part are the youngsters who get their hot meals for free because they happen to be poor. So here you have a class of youngsters readily and completely identified. In other words, everybody knows in the Shaw School that the only kids who participate in the program are the kids who are on relief.
Now, think for a second of what it does to the young child when he goes down to the cafeteria to get his lunch, and all of the kids know that the reason he can't go to the local neighborhood hotdog stand to buy hotdogs is because he does not have the money. So one of two things happen. Either they don't show up for the lunch or they go ahead and suffer the embarrassment.
It would be my hope that we can find some means, and I have often felt that perhaps the time is coming when we ought to make our lunches, our hot lunch program in the schools, a part of the educational process and make them free to all of the youngsters. This would certainly bring the youngsters out of the cokeshop into the school where they could not only have a decent balanced meal but, I think, it would create an environment which we said earlier could make the lunch period part of the whole cultural enrichment program of a youngster in those young and tender years.
So we may want to look to see whether or not this hot lunch program shouldn't be extended across the country and made free to all of the youngsters. It could be a part of the cost of education.
Do you have any comment on that?
Mr. Davis. Well, of course, this has been done in some places in this country. It has been done in some of the countries in Europe. I will only say one thing further, that the elementary school lunch program in the District of Columbia is very typical of the program nationally, and we have been quite concerned with the fact that the lunches were available to only the poor children in a school and not available to all of the children in the school. This has been a very difficult problem in the District of Columbia, and I think on the one hand they are to be commended for the fact that they are now, as I understand it, giving about 11,000 free lunches daily to the elementary children who a few years ago had no lunch program available to them.
We would only hope that somewhere along the line here in the very near future they could build on what they have already done and extend the program to all of the children in those schools, because I think what you say about providing lunches only for the needy children in the school is very true and something we should be concerned about.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Do you have any other questions?
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Davis, I have just one question regarding the bill. This bill provides that the States shall provide 10 percent matching, I believe that is correct, isn't it? That is on page 5:
Such payments to any State in any fiscal year shall be made upon the condition that an amount equal to not less than 10 per centum of such payments will be matched during such year from sources within the State determined by the Secretary.
We make that 10 percent matching rather liberal, and it can be in terms of value of donated services, supplies, facilities and equipment, and so on. Do you have any thoughts on whether or not
the States are able to match and to raise this 10 percent? The reason I ask this is that if you are going to provide 90 percent of the services, I have often wondered why we don't go full limit and provide the 100 percent at the Federal level and then avoid the necessity of the State trying to raise that 10 percent? In many instances, especially in our poorer States, even that 10 percent becomes a real problem.
I was just wondering if there is any real merit, in your judgment, to having this 10-percent State contribution? Is there any real meaning to it? I will grant the theory is when the States participate and provide 10 percent, this sort of snares the responsibility, but I am inclined to think that that is somewhat of a myth, especially when we permit this 10 percent to be represented in terms of services, facilities, and other things.
Wouldn't we be better off to go the full limit and provide all of this money?
Mr. Davis. Well, the National School Lunch Act does have a matching provision in it. I think our experience for all except the first few years of the program has shown that the States, through their contribution of services and so on, as outlined in the bill, have far exceeded this matching requirement. I would expect that in this particular program,
this would also be true. In order to run a program satisfactorily there would need to be local participation, State participation, which would represent perhaps even more than 10 percent of the total cost.
Mr. PUCINSKI. You find no objection to the 10 percent matching? Mr. Davis. No, sir; not at this time.
Mr. PuCINSKI. And my final question is this: In the distribution of the surplus foods, as I understand it, the Department of Agriculture sends these supplies into several central locations in a State, and then they are picked up by private carriers within that State and transported for distribution within the State, is this the way it is done?
Mr. Davis. There are many different systems employed by the States. In some States they have State warehouses out of which they make distribution with State trucks.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Who pays for that? Is that the State?
Mr. Davis. Once the commodities reach whatever point in the State they designate, then the State and local communities assume the cost of handling the commodities from there on. We ship in